Blogs

Creative Minnesota Reports on Health and Impact on State Economy, 2015

Creative Minnesota: The Impact and Health of the Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector is a report and accompanying website that breaks out data both statewide and regionally and serves as a snapshot of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences, as well as other indicators of the sector’s health and impact on the economy in 2013. The broader initiative called “Creative Minnesota” is a new effort to fill the gaps in available information about Minnesota’s cultural field and to improve our understanding of its importance to our quality of life and economy. It kicks off a new centralized, concentrated and long term endeavor to collect and report data on the creative sector every two years for analysis, education and advocacy.

Explore the website.

While Large Operas Flounder, Small Companies Flourish

From Theresa Agovino, writing for Crain's New York:

In contrast to the troubles at bigger institutions, many small opera companies are flourishing, and their numbers are expanding. Some 33 such companies exist in New York City today, more than double the number a decade ago, according to Opera America, a membership organization that promotes the art form. They are surviving and thriving because their budgets and number of staged productions are only a fraction of that of the big boys, and they specialize in niches. LoftOpera presents scaled-down versions of classic operas staged in nontraditional settings, such as former factories. Gotham Chamber Opera sets itself apart by featuring seldom-performed compositions created for smaller venues.
Kristen Madsen Joins Sonoma County Economic Development Board as Director of Arts

Kristen Madsen, a current member of the Grantmakers in the Arts Board of Directors, and Senior Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation, has been appointed the new Director of Arts at the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. She will be responsible for the Creative Sonoma program, which was adopted by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in June 2014 and seeks to boost the nonprofit arts community and the creative for-profit arts sector. The Arts Action Plan, which established the Creative Sonoma program, explains the development path for cultural and economic development, including funding and structural plans. Kristen will join the Sonoma County Economic Development Board initially on a part-time basis March 16, 2015 and will assume full-time employment starting April 1, 2015.

NFF Funder Dialogue with Ben Cameron

Nonprofit Finance Fund has posted an interview with Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. It is the second in their interview series with foundation leaders about the intersection of philanthropy and financial strategy:

Art and Trauma: The Soldier Art Workshop

By Susan Raab, for Nonprofit Quarterly:

Art may not be the first therapeutic tool that comes to mind when treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but it has proven to be effective and is being used in a number of places to help returning soldiers. In El Paso, a new collaborative project called the Soldier Art Workshop Program will be launched by the El Paso Art Association in March. The volunteer effort brings local artists together with area soldiers and their families and is designed to teach art to the soldiers as they “make the transition to normal military and family life after deployment.” Twelve workshops will be held at the El Paso Museum of Art and the Fort Bliss Family Center over the course of a year. They will focus on visual arts, including oil and watercolor painting, mixed-media encaustics, and digital photography.
The Legacy of Architecture for Humanity

From Jessica Garz, writing for The Architects Newspaper:

The recent closure of Architecture for Humanity, the San Francisco–based nonprofit known for its post-disaster rebuilding projects, had a distinctly funereal feeling. Founded by Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr in 1999, Architecture for Humanity was guided by the tagline “Addressing global humanitarian challenges with architectural solutions.” In addition to managing the design and construction of specific projects in the U.S. and abroad, the organization was known for its international network of local, volunteer-run chapters and its high profile publications including the book Design Like You Give a Damn and associated museum exhibitions.
Want Your Children to Survive The Future? Send Them to Art School

A post to Medium from Dustin Timbrook, Media Director for Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment:

Can you imagine a world in which most jobs are obsolete? If not, you are most likely in for a rude awakening in the coming decades of radical shifts in employment. This is particularly true for new parents propelling the next generation of workers into an adulthood that many economists and futurists predict to be the first ever “post-work” society.

Though the idea of a jobless world may seem radical, the prediction is based on the natural trajectory of ‘creative destruction’ — that classic economic principle by which established industries are decimated when made irrelevant by new technologies.

Climate Scientist Tries Arts To Stir Hearts Regarding Earth's Fate

From Joe Palca at National Public Radio:

A decade ago, physicist Robert Davies wasn’t all that interested in Earth’s climate. His field was quantum optics. But while he was working at the University of Oxford in England, he became intrigued by what was going on at Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, just down the road from his lab. Davies started going to seminars at the Institute, and was taken aback, he says, by “the broad gap between what science understands about climate change, and what the public understands.”
Lessons Learned about Change Capital in the Arts

Lessons Learned about Change Capital in the Arts, a report from Nonprofit Finance Fund that was released at the end of 2014, provides a four-year evaluation of Leading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence, an experimental $15 million initiative funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The analysis in the report, authored by Alan Brown and Arthur Nicht, reflects critically on what was learned from the initiative for the benefit of funders, individual philanthropists and others with an interest in the theory and practice of capitalization as applied to nonprofit arts organizations.

Rich with Players but Strapped for Resources

From Eileen Cunniffe, writing for Nonprofit Quarterly:

On Sunday, the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer ran a headline describing the state of the arts sector in the Philadelphia region: “Abundant culture, dearth of funding.” On Monday morning, leaders from the arts community and its funders gathered to hear key findings from the report that prompted the headline, an in-depth study of the region’s cultural sector by Boston-based consulting and research firm TDC.